Pickle Crisp Question

busylizzy(z5 PA)June 23, 2012

I don't usually use pickle crisp, as the fermented pickles I make are nice a crispy when they are refrigerated overnight.

They question is: does pickle crisp make a crisp pickle when they are at room temperature. Going to enter some for competition and will not be refrigerated prior to tasting.

thanks!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

HI Lizzy - I guess I'd have to say refrigeration has no effect on Pickle Crisp one way or another.

I don't make fermented pickles anymore but when I add it to my fresh pack pickle recipes and then store them on the shelf they are crisp when the jar is opened whether it has been to the fridge yet or not.

When I add it to my fermented cabbage for making kraut it is still crisp even after fermenting on the kitchen counter.

Does that answer your question?

Dave

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 4:09PM
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jimnginger(9)

Dave,
How much calcium chloride do you add to your kraut and since it is a type of salt, do you reduce your salt amount - as salts inhibit fermentation bacteria (the good ones and the bad ones).
I have thought of it since I have many pounds of it, but didn't want to ruin a batch with an experiment.I have not posted that question to the "natural additive free foodie" folks since I think most would say "disgusting" without even trying it. Just the name sounds "daunting".
Thanks,
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 5:43PM
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txbikerchick

Well here is another option. I have been using pickling lime for over 25 years. When I make sliced pickles of any kind,I use a large ceramic crock, add 1 gallon of water per 2 cups of pickling lime. Add the sliced cucumbers, then add ice. Lots of ice. I will gently stir on occasion,to get the lime off the bottom, then add more ice. When it starts to get full, I remove some of the water then add more ice. See a pattern here? Let soak for anywhere from 12-24 hours (usually 24). Rinse the cukes three time in clean water then you're all set to go. Pickles stay VERY crunchy. Just don't slice them too thinly or as they crisp in the lime when you stir they'll actually break in half. Even in a cooked sweet pickle recipe they stay crisp.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:17AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes many of us have used pickling lime in the past despite the hazards associated with using it. Pickle Crisp was developed expressly to replace pickling lime since its use is discouraged.

How much calcium chloride do you add to your kraut and since it is a type of salt, do you reduce your salt amount

1/8 tsp. per pint but it is not added during fermentation so the salt required is not changed. It is used after fermentation while canning the finished kraut.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:53PM
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jimnginger(9)

Thanks Dave.
Very clear concise answer.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:33AM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Thanks Dave, I will give it a go. Everyone loves these sweet pickles, I was suprised didn't place in competition 2 years ago. Then I discovered if room temp they are soft, refrigerate them and they get nice and crisp, even the 2 year old ones I used up a month ago.

Didn't can anything last year,due to my daughter being in auto accident and now a para in a wheelchair.
I am basically out of all canned goods.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:57AM
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QueenOfKing(4)

I'm new to canning and just happened upon this thread and wanted to ask Dave, "Yes many of us have used pickling lime in the past despite the hazards associated with using it. Pickle Crisp was developed expressly to replace pickling lime since its use is discouraged."

Why is pickling lime discouraged? I just bought some because my pickle recipe I want to use called for it...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 2:30PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Aside from the warnings on the label to avoid injesting or inhaling the product, to avoid direct skin contact, etc., pickling lime (food grade) contains levels of toxic elements (lead, magnesium, heavy metal, silica, etc.) that meet or exceed the FDA MSDS safety ratings.

It was used in many old fashion pickling recipes but the issue of the safety of those old recipes aside, they always called for several rinses of the food after soaking in the lime and before filling the jars were called for to insure most if not all of it was removed from the foods.

Later studies have shown that it is difficult to remove most of it and some is absorbed by the food itself. Not to mention that many who use it don't rise the foods sufficiently. So its use is strongly discouraged and Pickle Crisp is the recommended alternative. It is not prohibited, but discouraged and using it with great care is recommended.

The MSDS for it reads:

Route(s) of Entry:
Inhalation? YES
Absorption Through Skin? YES
Ingestion (swallowing)? - YES
Health Hazards: Acute - Corrosive to skin and eyes. Causes irritation and inflammation to mucous membrane and respiratory passages.

Signs and Symptoms of Exposure:
Irritation of skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.

Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure:
Respiratory disease, skin condition.

Emergency and First Aid Procedures:
Remove to fresh air. Wash dust with soap and water. Flush out eyes with generous amounts of water. Drink plenty of water if swallowed. See Physician.

It's your choice.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 3:42PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Yeah, I have no intentions of using lime, I only need a few jars for competition so the adding of the calcium works well for those jars and not the others in the batch.

Took me 3 years to nail down this process and recipe to current canning standards for this recipe for a pickle that is crunchy when cold,using no chemicals, not about to step backwards

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:07AM
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ddysart

I have been trying to use Pickle Crisp without good results. I follow the instructions and use fresh ingredients. I am trying to make lime pickles with it. Exactly how much Pickle Crisp do you put in each jar? It says 1/8 tsp but I have read some people use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. also read to not use too much. Researching it is more confusing! The Ball people aren't helping and the extension office doesnt know.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:38AM
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jimnginger(9)

For cucumber pickles, I use 1/2 tsp per quart jar.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:36AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

JMO but while Pickle Crisp works great for most pickles, if you want actual Lime Pickles - the ones you add green food coloring to - you'll need to use the lime. Lime Pickles are supposed to be so snappy crisp I'm not sure you could use enough Pickle Crisp to make them.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:03AM
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cannond

I'm reviving this thread because I'm unsure about adding Pickle Crisp to fermented cucumbers that will be refrigerated instead of processed.

Does anyone know if this will help keep fermented cucumbers crisp? I've tried oak and grape leaves; nevertheless, after a couple of months in the frig they become flaccid.

It's important to me that the probiotics remain, so processing isn't an option.

Deborah

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 8:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Never tried it but have wondered about it myself. Not that I expect fermented pickles to be as crisp anyway as fresh pack ones are. Let us know if it helps.

I assume you are keeping the ones in the fridge well skimmed and refresh the brine as needed?

Dave

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:02PM
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cannond

"I assume you are keeping the ones in the fridge well skimmed and refresh the brine as needed?"

In the few years I've been fermenting, I've never had kalm yeast or a skin form....yet. So I don't refresh the brine, as it also contains probiotics, which we add to tomato juice for a refreshing drink.

I'll let you know if the Pickle Crisp works. I hope it doesn't interfere nutritionally.

Deborah

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:12AM
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esstoney

I put pickle crisp in both my canned-with-vinegar pickles and my fermented-in-crock pickles. They definitely made both crisper, but I thought that they gave the fermented pickles a slightly off flavor. I added the pickle crisp at the beginning of the fermentation, in addition to some grape leaves. In my experience, the grape leaves had not kept the pickles very crisp. That's why I tried the pickle crisp. But next year, I probably won't.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:29AM
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myfamilysfarm

I will say that getting the lime off of anything, including the produce, isn't easy. I usually rinse 2x the amount that they recommend. My Southern Lime Pickles, recipe on back of Mrs. Wages Lime, doesn't require any food coloring.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:48PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

IMO, crisp pickle starts with the right raw material. That is way there are pickling cucumber. Not every cucumber is suitable for pickling. Same goes for other vegetables. For example, celery and carrots make crisp pickle but not cauliflowers and cabbage. Hard green tomatoes and tomatillo make crisp pickles. Broccoli stems make crisp pickle but not the tip. We see pickled peperoncini sold commercially. Because in part, that pepper has very little water content. That is why green bell pepper will not make a half decent pickle. I thing the all have dense fiberous structure. Another thing is the vinegar factor. I think vinegar soften pickling vegetable. Well, it is 5% acid.
Refrigeration is yet another factor to MAINTAIN crispiness.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:41PM
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cannond

Dave, you asked that I let you know how the fermented pickles worked when I added Pickle Crisp. Well, after fermenting I added the Pickle Crisp directly to the fermented brine, stirred it about briefly and left it in the refrigerator (four half gallon jars). To date the are extraordinarily crisp and I detect no off flavors.

I still wonder, though, if the probiotics are compromised.

Deborah

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:40PM
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myfamilysfarm

seysonn, I agree about the 'correct' variety of cucumbers. Pickling Cukes are designed for pickling, smaller seed cavity and more dense. So many people think that any cucumber is work, and they will, but if you choose a pickling cuke, they stay crisper than the average 'eating/slicing' cucumber.

Marla

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 2:05PM
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cinsay(z5 OH)

So I was thinking about Pickle Crisp today and its composition to try to see if I should be concerned about its effects on my product (fresh packed dill pickles) or health. I also saw the comment above wondering if it would impact probiotics formed in fermented pickles.

Its calcium chloride. In water, it would be free calcium and free chloride ions.

Chloride ions would be present already from the salt (sodium chloride). For those who have to watch their salt intake, I believe the ion of interest is sodium, not the chloride. So a slight increase in chloride would probably have a negligible effect.

Calcium ions would also already be present (but less so), from the water I used. I used regular tap water, which in my part of the country is fairly hard. Hard water means it has calcium (bicarbonate or carbonate) and other minerals dissolved in it. Calcium ions are also present in antacids that are made from calcium carbonate. So I'm comfortable with a slight increase in calcium as well.

I don't know too much about probiotic growth and development. I know yeast is inhibited by salt. (I recall reading that if you add too much salt to bread dough, it would take a lot longer to rise because it inhibited the yeast.) Calcium chloride is a 'salt' so if probiotics are like yeast, I suppose it would depend on how much was added. If calcium were the ion that inhibited probiotics moreso than chloride, then maybe one could compensate by using distilled water.

So that's my rambling thought process on Pickle Crisp, for what its worth.

Cindy

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:07AM
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cannond

"So that's my rambling thought process on Pickle Crisp, for what its worth. "

This is useful information. Thank you.

Deborah

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:15PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Calcium ion being an alkaline (Ca++) can also neutralize some of the acids. That goes against having an acidic environment to prevent bacterial growth.
I could be wrong.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:35AM
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cannond

"That goes against having an acidic environment to prevent bacterial growth. "

Since Pickle Crisp is introduced to the ferment after it's completed, I wouldn't be worried about much bacterial growth upon refrigeration.

The question remains what impact has it on present bacteria? Does it exhaust further ferment (which retards considerably with refrigeration) or does it destroy all the goodies?

Deborah

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:41AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

I would suggest contacting a site like Cultures fo Health to ask if Pickle Crisp effects the probiotics. Last year when I couldn't find grape leaves, I read somewhere that a pinch of black tea would have the same effect. I never tried it, so I can't say whether or not it works. It did say not to add very much. Supposedly the tannin helps the pickles stay crisp.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cultures for Health

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:01PM
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